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At 9.30am today (17 January 2013) the first House of Commons backbench business debate will be on ATOS Work Capability Assessments (member in charge: Michael Meacher, Labour, Oldham West and Royton).
Michael Meacher writes: "I am pleased that this debate will take place in the main chamber (not in Westminster Hall where there has already previously been a debate on ATOS) ... I have already spoken to a large number of Members of all parties and am assured there will be a big turnout, so that people in a large number of constituencies (perhaps as many as 30) will be directly represented in the debate. I hope the speeches will cover a great many cases, though tragically there are so many hundreds of horrifying accounts flooding into MPs’ that not all of them can be specifically included. However I am sure this will be a breakthrough in the fight against this appalling injustice, and we must all organise to ensure that it is.
I have myself received hundreds of heart-rending accounts from all over the country, and it’s difficult to do justice to the fear, indignity, distress and panic attacks that have been perpetrated on so many hundreds of thousands of disabled people (a total of 1.6 million recipients of Incapacity Benefit now being assessed at the rate of 10,000 a week).
The MP cites numerous examples here (http://www.michaelmeacher.info/weblog/2013/01/atos-debate-in-the-house-n...) and also links his previous comments on ATOS/WCA.
There is more from Ekklesia on WCA here: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/WCA
Meanwhile, independent disability researcher Mo Stewart (www.whywaitforever.com/dwpatosveterans), a retired healthcare professional, has made available a briefing for the 17 January ATOS debate.
It has already been published here (http://socialwelfareunion.org/archives/2999) by the Social Welfare Union.
We are happy to make it available on Ekklesia in *.PDF Adobe Acrobat format.
ATOS Healthcare Debate Briefing, by Mo Stewart: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/files/atos_healthcare_debate.pdf